Re: [INDOLOGY] query on Sāṃkhya

alakendu das mailmealakendudas at
Wed May 29 09:30:24 UTC 2019

In continuation to what I wrote yesterday on Samkhya,I would just like to add a little bit more.I have a feeling the word"Evolution", as you have mentioned ,needs to be introspected . Evolution in the context of Samkhya should not be viewed in the Darwinian sense.Rather,Samkhya shows the gradually meandering way of gliding upwards from the empirical to the Transcendental.To be precise,All the schools of our Indian philosophy guides us to evolve ourselves from the mundane to supra-mundane.,which ,in fact ,is the essence of our Spirituality.Samkhya is one aspect of it.As the Purusha disentangled itself from Prakriti,it is transcending on the path of Enlightenment, Emancipation..,The Purusha evolves into a better entity.Buddha's saying ,too,hints the same-"Dukhham Dukhham,Anityam Anityam,Sunnyam Sunnyam,SwaLakshnam SwaLakshnam"This stage of "Sunnyam" is the final evolution which the Purusha attains after detachment from the Prakriti .Alakendu Das.

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From: Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY <indology at>
Sent: Tue, 28 May 2019 03:50:51 GMT+0530
To: Indology <INDOLOGY at>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] query on Sāṃkhya



Dear Indological colleagues,

One of the peculiarities of
Sāṃkhya thought is its unusual theory of "evolution"
 (though it might better be termed "emanation") which proceeds from the subtle modifications of the
 to those that are increasingly coarse, namely the organs of sense and of action, and finally to their physical objects. This seems a very odd evolutionary path when we first encounter it and I am wondering if there has been any work that seeks to explain just
 why Sāṃkhya adopted what to us may seem a remarkably counter-intuitive framework. I do have
 my own theory about this, but I would not want to publish it if someone else has already come up with a similar idea. I would therefore be grateful for any suggestions you may have concerning scholarship that seeks to explain just why it is that
Sāṃkhya proceeds from top to bottom, as it were, rather than the other way around.

with thanks in advance for
 your advice about this,

Matthew Kapstein


Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,

The University of Chicago


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